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University College London - Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) is offering several opportunities for doctoral study, including an EPSRC PhD Studentship.

About the Department

STEaPP explores, experiments with, and improves the ways scientific and engineering expertise are engaged with public decision-making and policy processes across our globally interdependent societies.

The department’s research bridges science, technology and engineering (STE) and social sciences and focuses on knowledge systems and science–policy interfaces that underpin decision-making at the local, national and international scale. STEaPP is situated within UCL BEAMS (the UCL Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences, and Mathematical & Physical Sciences).

We offer academic oriented Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and policy-/professional-oriented Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) training tracks.

PhD programme

A supervised research degree in which candidates carry out independent research on a topic developed with two UCL supervisors (from STEaPP and from another UCL BEAMS department). Candidates are expected to undertake training elements (eight taught modules). The programme consists of six core training elements (modules from STEaPP), two specialisation training elements (modules from STEaPP or a sister department with UCL BEAMS), a pilot project and a dissertation.

DPA programme

A supervised research degree in which candidates carry out independent research under the guidance of two UCL supervisors (from STEaPP and from another UCL BEAMS department) and a policy practitioner from outside of UCL. The DPA is designed for governmental researchers who can do their doctoral research while continuing their professional work. Candidates undertake eight taught modules and research to the value of 240 credits. The programme consists of six core training elements (modules from STEaPP), two specialisation training elements (research project literature reviews), a pilot project and a dissertation.

The DPA thesis is an applied piece of work incorporating an account of research done during the programme and its application to a real-world engagement experience carried out in an institution external to UCL. All DPA students are expected to be available for dedicated study (part of the taught component) in London without significant professional workloads for term 1 (from 23 September until 13 December 2019). There is a provision for distance learning for the remainder of the taught component.

University College London - Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Research topics

STEaPP welcomes expressions of interest covering any areas related to our current research (listed below).

Those who wish to apply for STEaPP’s 2019 institutional EPSRC PhD Studentship should focus on "Understanding Science and Engineering in Policy Practice: Ethnographic and Phenomenological Studies of STEM Experts in Public Policy" (see website for more information).

STEaPP research focuses on the intersection of a set of societal challenges and a series of cross-cutting practices:

Challenges:

  • Sustainability
  • Urbanisation
  • Development
  • Digital and cyber governance
  • Humanitarian and crisis management

Practices:

  • Science advice
  • Science diplomacy
  • Impact
  • Risk
  • Innovation
  • Engineering policy
  • Modelling for policy
  • Foresight & games
  • Socio-technical analysis

Find out more about STEaPP research topics.

Fees and Funding

Full-time tuition fees for both programmes in 2019/20 are £5,210 for UK/EU students and £24,450 for overseas applicants.

For PhD study, there is one full-time (4 year) institutional EPSRC Studentship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy , on “Understanding Science and Engineering in Policy Practice: Ethnographic and Phenomenological Studies of STEM Experts in Public Policy Science" (see website for more information). No studentships are available for DPA study.

University College London - Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy

Social and Policy Studies of Energy and the Environment (PhD)

STEaPP is also co-leading a PhD pathway entitled Social and Policy Studies of Energy and the Environment as part of the UCL Bloomsbury East London (UBEL) doctoral training programme with the UCL Energy Institute. There are fully-funded ESRC studentships across the ESRC DTP. The pathway aims to contribute to building a better social science informed evidence base for energy and environment policies, through training applied social scientists. For more details visit the website.

Thinking of applying?

Interested applicants are advised to make initial informal enquiries via email to Prof Arthur Petersen, Director of Doctoral Studies ([email protected]).

More information can be found here.

As a part of their application, candidates are expected to include a two-page research proposal in their personal statement.

There is a rolling application deadline for applications, but for the admissions decisions that will be made in February/March 2019, the application deadline is 1 February 2019 (also deadline for studentship applications).

Understanding Science and Engineering in Policy Practice: Ethnographic and Phenomenological Studies of STEM Experts in Public Policy (EPSRC funded)Details

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